Art and science collide in OSU professor’s exhibition at The Little Gallery – The Daily Barometer

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Zeva Rosenbaum, photographer

Professor Jerri Bartholomew stands next to his art installation Salmon and There Will Be Good Years: 2009-2021 (bottom) during the Little Gallery exhibition of his work titled Abstracted: Where Science Meets Art and Music on 4 March. This piece and others integrate data from her microbiology work with artwork created by herself and other collaborative artists.

Jerri Bartholomew has combined his glass art and extensive microbiology work in a new exhibition titled “Abstract: Where Science Meets Art and Music” at the Little Gallery in Kidder Hall until April 8.

Bartholomew, a professor of microbiology at Oregon State University, discovered his passion for microbiology, particularly in the area of ​​fish-related diseases, during his graduate studies at OSU. Forty-one years later, she is still there and has held various positions within the microbiology department. Bartholomew is also director of the John L. Fryer Aquatic Health Laboratory.

According to Bartholomew, she always had an interest in art. She said that although she chose science as a career, art has always been an important aspect of her life. She took glass art classes towards the end of her graduate studies and took a great interest in it, describing glass art as a “field in itself”.

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The inspiration behind his art, Bartholomew said, is his science. She said she has been creating science-based artwork for over 20 years and while on sabbatical in 2021 one of her goals was to explore the interconnectedness of art and science and find ways to get people interested in the science they do.

the art-science network on the campus of OSU Corvallis, Ore. is a community that Bartholomew wants to bring more attention to, including their Seminar group intended for students who wish to explore the links between art and science.

Bartholomew said there are many excellent art-science relationships at OSU which, although they don’t have a current formal structure, are a strength to keep in mind.

The Little Gallery and Helen Wilhelm, the gallery’s curator, have presented other exhibitions involving the art-science community in the past. Bartholomew said The Little Gallery is a beautiful personal space among other “gems” on campus that are lesser known and she hopes they will be on more display in the future.

According to Bartholomew, the title of the exhibition, Abstracted, is inspired by the first part of a scientific manuscript: the abstract. She said that this part of the document summarizes the whole project and is the part most likely to be read. She said she wanted to see how far she could push abstraction in an artistic sense while making the viewer curious about science itself.

Bartholomew said she combines science and art in different ways. One of the pieces in the exhibit includes data graphs from one of her research projects on the Klamath River, which she then embedded in glass. She said the art has helped her ask more questions about her own science that she might not have otherwise.

Another way she combined technology and art was collaborating with musicians, Bartholomew said.

Jason Fick, assistant professor of music technology at OSU, coordinator of music technology and production, and president of the College Music Society, Northwest Region, sonified Bartholomew’s data into a 16-minute digital musical piece. which is included in the “Murky Waters” exhibit.

Fick said he and Bartholomew had been working on this data together for about two years after meeting in 2016. Fick said he created a software platform to “read the data and map it to sonic behaviors in real time”. Data includes waterborne spore density, water flow and temperature.

According to Bartholomew, she worked with Andrew Myersprofessor of art at OSU, and Dana Reason, assistant professor of contemporary music at OSU and musician, on a piece concerning the developmental cycles of parasites titled “Microdestruction: Using art and music to understand parasite development.” Meyers created a live drawing from the data while Reason composed a musical piece to tell his story.

Reason, who is also the popular music studies coordinator for the Ecampus and Corvallis campuses, said she hasn’t seen the entire show yet, but was excited to “share and celebrate” this exhibition.

Prior to working on this show, Myers and Bartholomew co-taught a course called Art of the Microbiome, which combined art and microbiology, and both serve as advisors for Seminarium, an OSU student club that examines the intersection of art and science.

“In this project, I give my visual interpretation using traditional drawing media, in conjunction with Dana Reason’s performance of the parasite life cycle at the heart of Jerri’s research,” said Myers. “Collaborations, especially interdisciplinary collaborations, are extremely interesting for me and this one has been very rewarding.”

Bartholomew said art and science don’t have to be separated, and indeed haven’t been until the last 150 years or so.

According to Bartholomew, next year she will be working on the removal of the Klamath River Dam, and she will incorporate aspects of it into her art next winter.

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